Just as people should visit their dentist and their doctor regularly, all cats should see their veterinarian at least once a year. Often your cat is due for vaccinations, but even if they aren’t a pet’s health can change a lot in a year, due to environment, stress, genetic conditions, and routine aging. By examining your cat and discussing their lifestyle and behviour with you, your veterinarian can determine if your cat has any health issues of which you are unaware, and catch emerging health problems before they become serious.
An annual visit includes a thorough nose to tail examination as detailed below, appropriate vaccinations, parasite control, and nutritional, weight and behavioural counselling. As well, your veterinarian will be able to advise you on any preventative care measures you can be taking to help your cat live a long and healthy life. Of course, you can request your choice of veterinarian for your visit.
- Bone, Joint and Muscle Examination
- Skin & Coat Examination
- Heart & Lung Evaluation
- Eye & Ear Health Examinations
- Abdominal Check
- Urinary Tract and Genital Exam
- Neurologic Check
- Nutritional & Weight Assessment
- Lifestyle & Behaviour Consultation
- Nail Trim if Required
- A thorough dental exam. People often don’t notice how bad their cat’s teeth are. Dental disease can lead to the spread of bacteria through the bloodstream, settling in vital organs such as the heart, kidneys and liver and causing serious illness.
Health problems are always easier and less costly to treat when they are detected early.
There are many vaccines available to protect your cat from all sorts of diseases. Our philosophy at Blue Cross Animal Hospital is to avoid over-vaccination by vaccinating only for diseases that our patients are at risk of contacting. We follow the Guidelines of the American Animal Hospital Association in choosing our “Core Vaccines.” After a cat is two years old we do not vaccinate for every disease every year. Cats need to come in for an annual examination and vaccines will be prescribed as needed.
Many people think that indoor cats do not need vaccines. This is not true. The most common carriers of Rabies in Toronto are bats. A rabid bat is not behaving normally. It will fly into places it would not normally go. It will land places it wouldn’t normally land. From a basement door to a balcony door many storeys up in an apartment building, a bat can fly in and potentially infect a cat. There was such a case in the news recently. The owners had to have post exposure treatment because their indoor cat whose vaccines had lapsed got rabies and bit them. Rabies is extremely serious and nearly always fatal for pets and people. Make sure your cats stay up to date on their vaccines!